This series is merely an introduction to the eleven (11) counties of the Greater Capital Region, all of which are found within the Third Department. There is a wide range in both the areas and populations of the eleven counties.
Another series will explore the various cities (13) of the Greater Capital Region. Yet another series will explore the many villages (62) of the Greater Capital Region. The last will explore the many towns (144) of the Greater Capital Region. Thus, you will get a basic introduction to each of the 230 municipal entities that are collectively known as the Greater Capital Region.
Counties by Area (square miles):
Albany 533 Columbia 648 Fulton 533 Greene 658 Montgomery 410 Rensselaer 665 Saratoga 844 Schenectady 210 smallest
Schoharie 626 Warren 932 largest
Counties by 2010 Population:
Albany 304,204 most populous
Columbia 63,096 Fulton 55,531 Greene 49,221 Montgomery 50,219 Rensselaer 163,129 Saratoga 219,607 Schenectady 154,727 Schoharie 32,749 least populous
Warren 65,707 Washington 63,216
Counties by Date of Incorporation:
Albany 1683 oldest
Columbia 1786 Fulton 1838 youngest
Greene 1800 Montgomery 1772 Rensselaer 1791 Saratoga 1791 Schenectady 1809 Schoharie 1795 Warren 1813 Washington 1772
Counties by Number of Municipalities:
Albany 19 Columbia 23 Fulton 16 Greene 19 Montgomery 21 Rensselaer 23 Saratoga 30 most
Schenectady 8 least
Schoharie 22 Warren 13 Washington 26
Counties by County Seat:
Albany City of Albany Columbia City of Hudson Fulton City of Johnstown Greene Village of Catskill Montgomery Village of Fonda Rensselaer City of Troy Saratoga Village of Ballston Spa Schenectady City of Schenectady Schoharie Village of Schoharie Warren Town of Queensbury Washington Town of Fort Edward
Counties by Most Populous Municipality:
Albany City of Albany (97,856)
Columbia Town of Kinderhook (8,498)
Fulton City of Gloversville (15,665)
Greene Town of Catskill (11,775)
Montgomery City of Amsterdam (18,620)
Rensselaer City of Troy (50,129)
Saratoga Town of Clifton Park (36,705)
Schenectady City of Schenectady (66,135)
Schoharie Town of Cobleskill (6,407 [2000 census])
Warren Town of Queensbury (27,901)
Washington Town of Kingsbury (11,171 [2000 census])
Counties by Largest Municipality (square miles):
Albany Town of Berne (64.76)
Columbia Town of Chatham (53.54)
Fulton Town of Stratford (76.69)
Greene Town of Hunter (90.74)
Montgomery Town of Florida (51.49) [Honorable mention to Town of Minden (51.46)]
Rensselaer Town of Pittstown (64.84)
Saratoga Town of Day (69.55)
Schenectady Town of Duanesburg (72.13)
Schoharie Town of Fulton (64.96)
Warren Town of Johnsburg (206.74)
Washington Town of Fort Ann (110.80)
1. The County of Albany:
Incorporated: 1683 Population: 304,204 Area: 533 Cities: 3: Albany (NYS capital), Cohoes, and Watervliet Towns: 10: Berne, Bethlehem, Coeymans, Colonie, Green Island, Guilderland, Knox, New Scotland, Rensselaerville, and Westerlo Villages: 6: Altamont, Colonie, Green Island, Menands, Ravena, and Voorheesville
Of the eleven (11) counties of the Greater Capital Region, Albany County is the most populous, as well as being home to the “anchor” city of Albany, the state’s capital. As such, it is at the very center of the Greater Capital Region. Apart from New York City, in Downstate New York, Albany is among the oldest settlements in New York, having been originally settled by Dutch colonists (though French explorers visited prior to Dutch settlement, they never bothered to stay). The length of the Dutch colonial period is reflected in many of the toponyms in the area, together with the rich early history of the city and surrounding area.
The secret to Albany County – as with most places one loves – is in exploring it. If you truly take the time to explore the many back roads and vistas, I sincerely doubt that you will want to leave. I call this area home for a damned good reason: I cannot for the life of me imagine living anywhere else – and I’ve visited 42 of these 50 states. This area really does have it all. The only thing that it is missing is the level of elite culture that can only be found in such major metropolises as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles (hence the epithet “Smallbany”). But, New York is just a jump on Amtrak or Metro North and you can take in a show and a sumptuous dinner all in a single day and be back home in time for bed. And while not quite equidistant, residents of the area can easily travel north to Montreal, east to Boston, south to New York, and west to Buffalo.
Albany County is home to several excellent colleges and universities as well: Albany College of Pharmacy, Albany Law School, Albany Medical School, the College of St. Rose, Maria College, the Sage College of Albany, Siena College, and the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany.
Albany County is also home to three amazing state parks: John Boyd Thacher State Park, Peebles Island State Park, and Thomson’s Lake State Park. I find the breathtaking vistas of Thacher Park to be truly inspiring.
Albany County. Put it on your To Do List.